Piano Exercises For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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Before you begin piano exercises, warm up your wrists, shoulders, and other body parts. Doing so helps the physical component of playing the piano by heightening awareness of your body and the way you move. After a few stretches and warm-ups, you can bring a relaxed awareness to the piano when you practice.

Follow these steps for an effective wrist warm-up:

  1. Hold your hands in front of you, palms facing away, as if you are pushing against a wall with both hands.

  2. With a loose wrist, slowly circle your hands both clockwise and counterclockwise.

  3. Bring your hands together in front of you like you're praying, palm-to-palm, finger-to-finger, and extend your elbows out to the side.

  4. Slowly rotate your wrists so that your fingers point toward you, and then away from you, and finally down to the ground.

  5. Repeat a few times as you loosen your wrists.

Physical tension can easily become incorporated into your playing through the necessary repetition of practicing. So it's very important to develop a pattern of releasing your muscles as you play and building this pattern into your playing. Doing this also becomes a way to unify the physical and mental components of music making, because staying comfortable while you play requires constant monitoring for areas of discomfort.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Holly Day and Michael Pilhofer are co-authors of all editions of Music Theory For Dummies and Music Composition For Dummies. Blake Neely was a contributing author to the 2nd edition of Piano For Dummies. David Pearl is author of Piano Exercises For Dummies. Jerry Kovarksy is a contributing writer to Electronic Musician magazine.

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